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Karen Mitchell Wilcher

Karen Mitchell Wilcher

DC-area consultant | Hospitality industry | Class of 1984

Both parents are proud UI alums. All three siblings, too.

“A Mitchell legacy,” says hospitality industry consultant Karen Mitchell Wilcher (BS ’84, restaurant/food services management). “We are currently working on our third generation of Mitchells to matriculate. Wish us luck.”

When Wilcher tells Illini stories at family get-togethers, they often include some reference to Allen Hall.

That’s where she called home as a freshman — Room 222 — and “where we listened at night for dedications or shout-outs on the campus radio station run by the then-Black Cultural Center. We got our fair share since my roommate was Michelle White, who all the fellas had a crush on.

“I loved to hit up the 2-for-1 happy hour at Eddie’s with their ice cream drinks because my best friend, Audrey Simmons, could never finish her second drink so that meant more for me.

“I spent lots of time in Bevier because of my major — and/but one of my favorite classes was a floral arrangement class. I didn’t ever know about horticulture as a discipline until last semester of senior year.”